So, you’re considering leaving the military?

Leaving the military can be a hard decision, and finding jobs for veterans can be even harder. Whether you have completed minimal service or had a full career. You may know exactly what you want to do when you leave, although you will probably be in the minority.

Did you know that over 200,000 personnel  leave the military each year, without knowing what to do next? Crazy right? Further more, at the time of writing, 2.8% of Veterans are unemployed. We want to help those who served their country find work.

Here at Veterans Job Hub we not only want to help those that just want a job, by linking you directly with veteran friendly employers, but we also want to help you in the decision making process. That is the basis of this ultimate guide to help veterans like you find your next job. Ready? Let’s jump in.

How do I know what the next job is for me?

Transitioning from military to civilian life presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Especially when it comes to choosing your next career path. At VeteransJobHub.com, we understand that this isn’t just about finding jobs for veterans. It’s about discovering a new purpose, where your skills, experiences, and passions come together in a fulfilling and meaningful way.

The long journey starts here

The journey to identify your next career move is both exciting and, at times, daunting. Whilst in the Military you would have developed a vast array of highly valuable transferable skills. Such as leadership, teamwork, discipline, and resilience, just to name just a few.

But, how do you translate these into a civilian career which values your military experience, and aligns with your personal goals and aspirations? Read on friend, you’ll find all the answers you need in this article to find jobs for veterans.

Jobs for Veterans

“Decided to Leave the Military? Discover Your Next Step in ‘Jobs for Veterans’

Ok so you are leaving, you have spoken to your friends and family, so what now? What first? Well let’s have a look at the overview of what to look for, and potential careers so you can make informed decisions.

What should veterans look for in a good employer?

When veterans are looking for jobs in the civilian sector, identifying a good employer involves considering several factors. These align with the unique experiences, skills, and future goals that veterans have. Here are some key aspects veterans should look for in a good employer:

Look for employers who value and actively seek out veterans. A veteran-friendly workplace is one that appreciates the skills and experiences veterans bring. They often have other veterans among its staff, indicating an understanding and respect for military service.

Jobs for veterans in large corporations?

Often large corporations have established military networks. They run service leaver days where you can visit them and hear about the jobs for veterans  they have. If you are in doubt about a company, see if you can get on one of these insight days.

Companies that have supportive transition program initiatives which focuses on hiring and advancing veterans, typically offer a more supportive transition and career growth environment for veterans. Along with mentorships programs, they are designed to help veterans acclimate to the civilian workplace and find suitable jobs for veterans.

What about Military Programmes?

These programs include training and development opportunities for professional growth, one large company that offers this is JP Morgan.

They offer a 6 month internship where potential candidates complete daily tasks depending on their specific role. In collaboration with their manager and mentor, they establish clear objectives, undertake various projects, and hone new skills. These are essential for securing a full-time position.

Furthermore, they engage in networking with leaders across the organization. A process that helps them pinpoint where their talents and abilities are most effectively applied.

Employers who value the skills gained in the military, are likely to appreciate the unique strengths of veteran employees. A positive and inclusive workplace culture, where diversity is valued and employees feel respected and valued, is crucial for long-term job satisfaction.

What about flexible working for veterans?

For some veterans, particularly those with family commitments or who are managing service-related health issues, flexibility of work hours, or the ability to work remotely can be an important factor.

Perhaps you simply want to be around your family a lot more. This is often one of the reasons why people leave the military, and therefore a career that lets you do that via hybrid and remote working maybe the right path for you.

Look for employers who offer comprehensive benefits as part of their jobs for veterans. Benefits might include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Some employers may offer additional benefits like counselling services or wellness programs that can be particularly beneficial to veterans.

We have all at some point, been used to getting 5* benefits whilst serving. So its worth considering what are ‘must haves’ (like healthcare for example) and what are ‘nice to haves’. It will help having your own list in the early stages of career choice and job hunting so that you can filter in and out potential companies.

Jobs for veterans

It’s important to understand the potential for career progression within a sector and organization, especially for jobs for veterans. Employers who articulate potential career paths and advancement opportunities show a commitment to the growth and development of their employees.

Coming from the military where job security, stability and clear promotional path is visual. Veterans can often feel a sense of being lost in big organizations. Alignment of the company with your personal values and goals can lead to greater job satisfaction. It can also give you a sense of purpose in your work.

For veterans like you. A good employer is one that provides a supportive and understanding work environment. But also values and leverages the unique skills and experiences that veterans bring to the table.

What career help am I entitled to get when I decide to leave?

As a Military service member in the United States, you will have access to a range of support services. They will assist you in transitioning to a civilian job.

This is designed to ensure those who have proudly served your country can find meaningful employment. This will help you adjust to civilian life more easily.

Some of the organizations below may have different criteria or budgets to help veterans get jobs. So it is well worth doing your own research to see what you are personally entitled to.

We advise you to have a pen and paper to hand to make notes. There is a lot of help available to you, and here at veteransjobhub.com we will do our best to make sure you don’t miss anything that could be available to you.

Below are a number of resources available to U.S. military personnel.

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP provides you with information, tools, and training. This will ensure you are prepared for their next step in life. Whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the civilian workforce, or starting your own business.

The program includes workshops on employment, career decision-making, job search skills, and resume writing. All of which are vital aspects to a successful transition for jobs for veterans.

They do a great 200 page guide (I know sounds daunting right!) But we encourage you to look at the introduction and contents to see what parts of the guide apply to you.

It covers aspects like maintaining your health, supporting your family, finding a place to live, and getting jobs for veterans. They offer an educational and career counseling service. If you have no idea yet, this may well be worth applying early for (check eligibility).   

GI Bill Benefits: The Post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefits can be used for college degrees, vocational or technical courses, and certification tests. These benefits can be a key resource for veterans like you who are seeking to gain new skills or qualifications for civilian careers.

We advise to go onto their website and see what exactly you are entitled to. We discuss GI Benefits more we go through this article. But again make a note as a reminder to yourself to investigate further.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits

The VA offers numerous resources for jobs for veterans, including career counseling, education and training, and small business loans. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program, for instance, helps veterans. Especially with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs.

This is another great resource of information and lets you filter what schools are GI Bill approved. So if you require further education and qualifications it may be worth applying the filter. You will then see where you could use some of your GI Benefits.

Veteran Employment Services

The Department of Labor offers dedicated services for veterans through its Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). VETS provides resources like job search assistance, career counseling, and helps with resume preparation. 

Military One Source

This service provides career counseling and a wealth of resources for transitioning service members, focusing on jobs for veterans. It includes support in areas like resume writing, interview preparation, and federal employment information. The Military One Source website is an excellent research site that is updated regularly. We encourage you to save this as a favourite on your web browser.

To use this site effectively, especially when seeking jobs. We recommend going onto site and use the filter depending on what service branch you are / were serving with. You can then have a look at the articles that maybe of interest to you.

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Hiring Our Heroes

This U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative, hiring our heroes, helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.

It offers hiring fairs, fellowship programs, and online resources geared towards jobs for veterans. Hiring fairs are a good way to network and speak to people face to face. Hopefully the companies you see all use veteransjobhub but if they don’t, tell them they should!

The fellowship programes are particularly interesting, especially if you are able to get the time off whilst being paid still by the military. It will give you real experience in a company alongside specific training.

Post fellowship you will have great experience to add to your resume. You will get a great understanding if your chosen sector is correct for you, plus you may even get offered work after completion.

But at the very least have increased your network in that area. Work experience is invaluable and once on your resume it will stand you in good stead to secure employment.

Skill Bridge Program

The Skill Bridge Programme allows service members to gain civilian work experience. This is through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service.

Again, real work experience allows you to make an informed decision on whether your choice of next career was correct. It gives you real work experience in a civilian organisation.

It might be well worth searching on their filter to look for sectors and locations to see what is available for you. If unsure, there might be potential work experience opportunities. Gaining 6 months of work experience whilst still employed by the military will only be a positive outcome.

Not just for you while you adjust, but also be very good for your resume when applying for jobs for veterans. Try and get a good reference as well, these things just help you against the competition. 

Federal Employment

There are special hiring authorities and programs like the U.S Office of Personnel Management. They allow you to search and apply for Federal jobs for veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) 1998 is a federal law that provides Veterans like you, with enhanced opportunities for federal employment.

The law can give competitive service positions and the right for Veterans to apply for vacancies. This is when the agency is recruiting from outside its current workforce. It also allows Veterans to be considered for promotion like any other federal employee. There are lots of benefits for companies to employ veterans which we cover in a separate article. But its important to know that companies are financially rewarded by the government to employ you. If you want to go one step further, you can always read the article and educate them on the interview if they were not aware!

It also allows a veteran to redress instances where they feel their veterans’ preference rights have been violated. This is in the context of jobs for veterans. Veterans can file a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).

Great resources for veterans

These resources are designed to ensure that you as a veteran have access to the support you need for a successful transition into civilian life and employment.

By taking advantage of these transitioning services, you can find substantial help in determining your next career steps, particularly in securing jobs for veterans. 

Our top tip is to not leave it to anyone else to do the work for you. Be proactive, contact these organisations.

What kind of jobs for veterans can I apply for?

Great question, you will not be limited in choice, and there are a number of different professions you can choose from. Some of which are perfect for your certain skill type. We have looked at these and picked out a few example industries that have historically seen veterans successfully land second careers:

Is Healthcare a good option?

Transitioning from the U.S. military to a career in healthcare can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey for many veterans. In the separate article we’ve published we’ve looked at this industry in more detail. So please take a look if this is an industry you wish to investigate more. 

Is Government an easy transition option?

Going from the U.S. military to a career in Government and Administration can offer a seamless transition. You can leveraging the skills and experiences gained during military service.

Federal Government Jobs, State and Local Government roles, Law enforcement and Security, are only a few of the opportunities available. Please check out our separate post on this to investigate further. 

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How about Defense Contracting?

A career in defense contracting is a popular path for many veterans, as it allows you to continue working closely with the defense sector while leveraging your military experience and expertise.

Some key options you and considerations could include security clearances for example: Veterans who already hold an active clearance have a competitive edge, as this can save the employer time and resources.  

Is Information Technology a good choice?

This is a common and often smooth transition for many veterans. The IT sector offers a wide range of opportunities that align well with the skills  gained in the military. For example network management, cybersecurity or communications technology.

The above are just three examples which we explain more about in a separate article, which you can see by clicking here.

Is Construction right for me?

Construction can be a natural fit for many veterans. The construction industry often values the discipline, leadership, and teamwork skills honed in the military. Trades like electrician, plumber, carpenter, and HVAC technician are in high demand. But its not just trades, its vital roles such as Project Management, project planning and logistical skills are all crucial in the construction industry.

Is Finance hard to get into?

Transitioning to a career in finance can be a rewarding path for many veterans. The discipline, analytical skills, and leadership developed in the military can be highly valuable in the financial sector. Attention to detail, and risk management skills, are highly valued in finance.

Veterans should highlight these transferable skills when transitioning to a financial career. We discuss this more in a sperate page which you can view here.

What do I need to apply for jobs for veterans?

jobs for veterans - veteran holding resume

At this stage understanding the job application process is crucial. Here’s a very quick guide to what you need to apply for, and prepare for jobs in the civilian world.

First up you’ll need a resume or CV

Unlike the military, where your rank and assignments speak for themselves, in the civilian job market, you need a resume. This document should outline your skills, experiences, and achievements in a way that is relevant to civilian jobs.

Translate military jargon into civilian terms that clearly demonstrate your capabilities and accomplishments.

Often it might be your only way to get a ‘foot in the door’. Sometimes a foot in the door is all you need to then impress, so we will work together on this to get you that opportunity! 

A cover letter is also a good idea

A cover letter is a brief document that accompanies your resume. It should explain why you are interested in the job, and how your skills and experiences make you a good fit. It’s an opportunity to show a bit of your personality and to explain any gaps or unique circumstances.

References are important

Employers often ask for references to validate your experience and character. Choose people who know your work ethic and skills, such as former supervisors or colleagues from the military.

Also anyone you worked with in a civilian work place. Inform your references ahead of time that they might be contacted. If you did manage to gain work experience whilst still serving, then get a reference from a person. It may be the step ahead you need to be above everyone else.

What about Social Media?

Many employers check LinkedIn profiles because it’s like an online resume and a networking tool. Ensure you firstly have a profile, and it is up to date, include a professional photo, and that it mirrors your resume’s information.

LinkedIn is also a great way to grow your network. Look for former colleagues and friends which will give you a base line network which you will be able to utilise to increase exposure.

Even if you think you do not need a network now, its a good idea to get one ‘just in case’. You may find yourself in a situation where you need help in the future. Best to build and have a network now, so the day you need it, people are there and ready to help.

Do I need a decent email address?

Well yes! Use a simple and professional email address, preferably one with your name. Avoid using old or informal, and inappropriate email addresses like “MarinesAreTheBest@gmail.com” for example. Use one like, “john-smith@gmail.com”. Often email addresses go in your resume which will be read by hiring managers.

Therefore it should be simple and neutral as mentioned already. Remember, its a case of ticking off all these little things that will help in the big picture of getting you employed!  

How many application forms do I need to fill out?

Some companies require you to fill out job application forms instead of, or in addition too, submitting a resume. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your previous employment and education. This part of the process can be frustrating when the information is already on your resume.

But, its vital you complete with the same care and attention that went into completing your resume. If you are used to running around and being on the go all day, a lot of veterans can feel very frustrated at this stage. Especially when there is no guarantee of anything. Take the positives, use it as a learning experience, and a way of moving forward. 

Depending on the job, you may need to provide copies of certifications, licenses, or educational transcripts. If you have completed any training or education while in the military that is relevant to the job, include those details. It will be worth gathering all these up now and keeping them in a folder, both hard copies and digitally. Hunting for these or ordering replacements can be a really pain!

Remember to research the company

To be ready for job interviews involves a lot of preparation. This involves researching the company, practicing answers to common interview questions, and preparing a few questions to ask the interviewer.

Remember, interviews in the civilian world might feel less formal than military boards or evaluations. It is also an opportunity for you to see if you would fit into the companies culture.

See them as a positive experience and if you are not successful try and get feedback. So you can go into the next interview even more prepared.

What does ‘dress appropriately’ actually mean?

For interviews, dress appropriately in business attire unless the industry is more casual. It’s generally better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Research indicates that interviewers often form an initial impression of a candidate within the first few minutes of an interview.

This impression can be heavily influenced by the candidate’s appearance and attire. Various studies have proven this including a study by Willis and Todorov (2006). They found that people make quick judgments based on appearance, often within a tenth of a second. Better to dress like you are on a parade rather than the mess hall. 

What military to civilian skills have I got?

Understand Civilian Job Titles and requirements because Military roles don’t always have direct civilian equivalents. Take your time to understand civilian job titles and what those roles entail.

Match your skills and experiences to the requirements listed in job postings. There are resources that can help you do this. This part is particularly tough, often veterans are unaware of their skill sets. Careeronestop is an example of a website that helps you identify your skills, and you have a lot of them. Your skills very valuable indeed.

How do I network?

Networking can be a powerful tool in finding a job, we already discussed digital networks such as LinkedIn. So connect with former military colleagues who have transitioned to civilian careers.

Join professional groups, and attend industry events. You can try companies such as Ralleypoint which is designed to bridge the gap between transitioning veterans and potential employers or educational institutions. It connects veterans to military-friendly organizations looking for specific skills and interests, offering tailored job opportunities​.

Or you can try Veterati. They offer a unique platform for on-demand mentorship, catering to service members, veterans, and military spouses. It allows users to set up free one-hour mentorship phone calls with successful professionals, offering the flexibility to choose mentors according to individual preferences and needs.

If someone offers you a coffee and you have time to meet them, take the meeting and be a sponge. Absorb all the experience and knowledge you can. 

Why do I need to tailor my application to each job?

Customizing your resume and cover letter for each job application is vital. This can be a lengthy process and if you are applying to multiple jobs it can feel very tedious. Unfortunately in most cases it needs to be done. Tailoring your application by highlighting the most relevant experiences and skills for the specific job you are applying for, will increase your probability to getting through the initial stage.

We mentioned this earlier, having a clear mindset that you may have to apply to multiple jobs for veterans. Don’t lose heart as there are many examples of veterans who applied continually and ended up in good roles. Determination, desire, and not giving up are all great traits to have. 

After submitting an application or having an interview, if it’s appropriate send a thank-you email. If necessary, a polite follow-up to inquire about the status of your application also. As mentioned earlier, the more feedback you can obtain the more you will learn for the next interview. 

Don’t give up!

Remember, transitioning to the civilian workforce is a process, and it’s normal to face some huge learning curves. Take advantage of veteran support organizations and resources.

They can offer guidance and assistance in navigating this new terrain and above all, do not get disheartened from knockbacks. All it means is you have not found the right organization that’s for you yet.

In the words of Rocky: it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”.

What does a good resume or CV look like?

Creating a resume (or CV) that effectively translates military experience for a civilian career involves balancing your unique skills and experiences with the expectations and norms of the civilian job market. Let’s discuss how to create a resume (or CV) that showcases your military background while appealing to potential civilian employers:

The key to a standout resume.

When crafting a resume, its professional appearance is just as critical as the content it contains. A clean and polished layout not only grabs attention but also reflects your professionalism.

Start with a clear, easy-to-read font. While classics like Arial and Times New Roman are always safe bets, don’t shy away from equally professional alternatives such as Calibri, Helvetica, or Georgia. These fonts offer a modern touch while maintaining the clarity and formality required in a professional document.

The font size plays a pivotal role in readability. Aim for a font size between 12 to 14 point for the body text. This range strikes the perfect balance — it’s easy on the eyes yet space-efficient.

jobs for veterans - Man writing his resume

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Headings can be slightly larger to create a clear hierarchy, guiding the reader’s eye seamlessly through your career narrative.

Consistency in formatting

This is non-negotiable. Uniform font sizes for headings and body text, consistent line spacing, and standardized margins across the document are small details that collectively make a significant impact. They not only ensure ease of reading but also convey a meticulous attention to detail — a trait highly valued in any professional setting.

The role of white space in your resume cannot be overstated, as a cluttered, jam-packed document can be off-putting. Adequate spacing between sections, bullet points, and around the margins not only enhances readability but also gives your resume a clean, uncluttered look. It’s about finding that perfect balance — enough information to showcase your qualifications without overwhelming the reader.

Contact Information: Your Professional Gateway

The contact information section, although seemingly straightforward, is a crucial component of your resume. It’s your professional gateway, allowing potential employers to connect with you. Positioned prominently at the top of your resume, this section should be concise yet complete, ensuring that you are easily reachable.

Start with your full name, preferably in a slightly larger font than the rest of the text. This not only makes your name stand out but also immediately informs the reader who the resume belongs to. Your name is your personal brand; make it memorable and easily identifiable.

Following your name, include your phone number. Ensure that the number provided is one where you are readily available. A missed call from a potential employer can be a missed opportunity. It’s also wise to have a professional voicemail in place, just in case you can’t answer a call.

It might even be the first contact you have from a recruiter or a company representative so hearing a professional voice asking them to leave their name and contact number will only leave a good professional impression.

Don’t forget your email address.

Your email address is next in line. In today’s digital age, email is often the preferred means of communication. It is essential to use a professional email address, ideally one that includes your name.

Quirky or informal email addresses as mentioned earlier, can be perceived as unprofessional and are best avoided. If necessary, create a new email address specifically for your job search. We went over this earlier in a previous section but its good to reemphasize this again.

Have you got a LinkedIn profile?

Optionally, you can include your LinkedIn profile URL. LinkedIn has become an integral part of professional networking and job searching. Providing your LinkedIn URL not only shows that you are engaged in your professional community, but also gives potential employers a chance to learn more about you, your experience, and your professional connections.

Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and reflects the professionalism of your resume. If your resume says ’10 years in the Military’ and you only have 5 on your LinkedIn, it allows doubt about you to creep into the mind of whoever is looking at both.

Do I need to put my address on my resume?

Lastly, consider the relevance of including a physical address. In the current digital job market, your location may not be as critical as it once was. Especially for positions that offer remote work. If you do choose to include an address, a city and state are often sufficient, providing a general idea of your location without the need for specific street details.

Remember, the contact information section is your first opportunity to make a good impression. Keep it neat, professional, and complete, ensuring that potential employers can connect with you effortlessly.

Personal Statement or Objective: Crafting Your Professional Introduction

The Personal Statement or Career Objective is more than just a summary of your career goals. It’s a concise declaration of your professional identity.

Positioned at the beginning of your resume, this section serves as an introduction, providing a snapshot of who you are and what you bring to the table. It’s your chance to capture the employer’s attention and make a compelling case for why you’re the right fit for the role.

In crafting your personal statement or career objective, clarity and relevance are key. Start by succinctly outlining your professional goals:

  1. Are you seeking to leverage your skills in a new industry?
  2. Are you aiming for career advancement in a particular field?

This helps to give the employer a clear idea of your career direction and aspirations.

What are my strengths and core competencies?

Next, highlight your strengths and core competencies. Start by asking yourself, What unique skills do I bring to a civilian role? This is where your military experience becomes an asset.

Emphasize how the skills, discipline, and experiences gained during your service, such as leadership, teamwork, resilience, and strategic thinking, are transferable and beneficial to civilian jobs.

Be clear

Your goal is to draw a clear line between your military skills and how they translate to the civilian job market.

It’s also crucial to tailor this section to each job application. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, align your statement or objective with the specific requirements of the job you’re applying for. Research the company and the role. Understand what they value in a candidate, and reflect this understanding in your statement.

Keep in mind the power of brevity. This section should be a brief yet impactful paragraph, no more than 3-4 sentences. It should engage the reader immediately, setting the tone for the rest of your resume. A well-written personal statement or career objective can effectively position you as a strong candidate, bridging the gap between your military background and the civilian work environment.

Military Experience: Translating Service into Civilian Success

The Military Experience section of your resume is a vital component. It’s essential to present this experience in a way that resonates with civilian employers. Translating military roles and accomplishments into terms that are relevant and understandable in the civilian job market can be tricky, but we’re here to help, so lets start with some examples.

Begin by listing your roles and responsibilities during your military service, but remember to demystify any military jargon or acronyms. The key is to articulate your experience in a way that a civilian hiring manager can appreciate and understand.

Please also describe your duties and achievements in universally recognized job terms, focusing on aspects that have direct parallels in civilian employment.

Leadership experience is a highly valued asset in the civilian world.

If you held command positions, describe these in terms of team management and leadership. For example, instead of saying, “Commanded a unit of 200 personnel,” you could frame it as, “Managed a team of 200, overseeing operations, training, and personnel development.” This approach demonstrates your leadership skills while making your experience more relatable to civilian employers.

Highlight your project management skills, as military operations often involve complex logistics and coordination, similar to civilian project management. Detail how you planned, executed, and led missions or projects, emphasizing skills like strategic planning, resource allocation, and outcome evaluation.

Teamwork is another crucial element as we all know the military operates on the principle of teamwork and collaboration. Showcase instances where you collaborated with others to achieve objectives, solved problems, or overcame challenges. This illustrates your ability to work effectively in team settings, a skill highly prized in any industry.

What are my transferable skills?

Don’t forget to include specific skills that are transferable to civilian jobs. These could range from technical skills and languages to soft skills like communication, adaptability, and conflict resolution.

Wherever possible, quantify your achievements with concrete data or examples, as this adds credibility and gives hiring managers a clear picture of your capabilities. A hypothetical example for this translation could be:

Original Military Description

“Led squad in combat operations in Afghanistan, coordinating reconnaissance and tactical maneuvers under high-stress conditions. Responsible for strategic planning, logistics, and real-time decision-making.”

Translated for Civilian Resume

“Managed a team of 10 in high-pressure environments, successfully executing complex projects under tight deadlines. Demonstrated strong leadership in strategic planning and problem-solving, ensuring seamless coordination of logistics and resources. Excelled in making critical decisions swiftly, resulting in successful project outcomes and team safety.”

I hope that makes sense?

Your Military Experience section is more than a list of positions held. It’s a narrative of your professional journey and the skills you’ve honed along the way. By translating this experience into civilian job terms, you not only bridge the military-civilian divide but also showcase the invaluable assets you bring to potential employers. This section is your opportunity to demonstrate how your unique military background makes you an asset in the civilian workforce.

Skills Section: Showcasing Your Diverse Capabilities

In crafting an impactful resume, your Skills Section is a vital area where you can showcase your broad range of abilities. This is your opportunity to highlight how the skills you’ve developed, both in the military and beyond, make you an ideal candidate for civilian roles you go for. Structuring this section with clarity and focus will ensure that potential employers quickly grasp the breadth and depth of your expertise.

Catagorize your skills

Begin by categorizing your skills for easy readability. For instance, you might break it down into ‘Leadership Skills’, ‘Technical Skills’, ‘Language Proficiencies’. Also any specific ‘Certifications’ or ‘Technological Tools’ you are proficient in. Such categorization not only makes your resume more scannable, but also allows the employer to easily match your skills with job requirements.

In the ‘Leadership Skills’ category, include abilities honed during your military service like team management, operational leadership, and crisis management. These skills are highly transferable and sought after in the civilian job market. They speak volumes about your ability to guide teams, make critical decisions under pressure, and handle complex situations effectively.

Under ‘Technical Skills’, list specific technical expertise you’ve acquired. This might include anything from computer programming languages, engineering skills, to specialized equipment handling. If you’ve been involved in military roles that dealt with advanced technology, cybersecurity, or logistics, these skills are highly relevant in many civilian sectors, including IT, manufacturing, and supply chain management.

Don’t forget any language skills and certifications.

For ‘Language Proficiencies’, mention any languages you’ve learned and your level of proficiency in each. Language skills are a valuable asset in today’s globalized job market, especially in roles that require international communication or cultural awareness. Speaking another language can really make you stand out so don’t forget to add this in.

If you have any ‘Certifications’, such as First Aid, Project Management Professional (PMP), or specific technical certifications, include these as well. They provide concrete evidence of your qualifications and readiness for specific roles.

Last but not least, your Technological Tools.

Finally, don’t forget to include any ‘Technological Tools’ you are proficient in. These could be software programs, data analysis tools, or project management platforms. In an increasingly digital workplace, familiarity with these tools can greatly enhance your candidacy.

By thoughtfully organizing and presenting your skills, you paint a comprehensive picture of your professional profile. This section is not just a list; it’s a reflection of your journey, capabilities, and potential. It will help you stand out as a well-rounded and versatile candidate in the civilian job market.

Bridging your Military Expertise to Civilian Relevance

In the journey of showcasing your professional qualifications, the Education and Training section of your resume plays a crucial role. This section is more than a list of institutions and courses; it’s a testament to your knowledge, expertise, and continuous development.

So as a veteran, it’s essential to not only detail your educational background but also to translate your military education and training in a way that resonates with the civilian job market.

How? Well start by listing your formal education, including degrees or certifications from colleges or universities. Clearly state the name of the institution, the degree obtained, and the dates of attendance. If you have a higher education degree, there’s no need to list your high school education.

Following this, delve into your military education and training. The skills and knowledge acquired in the military are invaluable, but they often require translation to be fully appreciated by civilian employers.

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For instance, if you attended a military leadership course, equate it to civilian leadership training programs. Describe the course in terms of universally valued skills like strategic planning, team leadership, and operational management.

What was your specialized military training?

If you have specialized military training, such as technical or engineering courses, cybersecurity training, or medical training, highlight how these skills are applicable in civilian roles. For example, a course in military engineering can be presented as expertise in project management, systems engineering, or logistics.

In addition to formal training, consider including any relevant workshops, seminars, or online courses you have completed that enhance your professional profile.

These additional learning experiences demonstrate your commitment to continuous professional development and adaptability. These qualities are highly esteemed in the civilian workforce.

Avoid the military jargon civilians might not understand

Remember, present your military training in a way that is easily understandable and relatable to civilian employers. Avoid military jargon and acronyms and focus on the core skills and knowledge you gained.

By effectively translating your military education and training, you help potential employers see the direct correlation between your military background and the value you can bring to their organization.

Some people have no previous experience of the military. So if you know anyone like this, getting them to cast their eye over will be a good idea. If they don’t understand the language or phrase then that’s a sign to change it.

The Education and Training section is your platform to showcase your academic achievements and specialized military training in a language that bridges your past experiences with your future ambitions. It’s an opportunity to highlight your commitment to learning and growth. It can demonstrate how your unique educational journey equips you for success in the civilian job market.

Showcasing your Recognition and Expertise through certifications and awards.

This section of a resume is where you get to shine a light on your achievements and specialized qualifications. This segment is particularly impactful for veterans, as it provides an opportunity to showcase formal recognitions and specialized training that set you apart in the civilian job market.

Start with any professional certifications you’ve earned. These could range from industry-specific qualifications, such as IT certifications (like CompTIA or Cisco certifications), to general professional certifications like Project Management Professional (PMP) or Lean Six Sigma.

Certifications act as proof of your skills and knowledge in specific areas and demonstrate to employers that you are trained and recognized by professional bodies in your field.

Have you got any advanced skills?

For veterans, it’s also important to translate any military certifications into civilian terms, as military training often equips service members with advanced skills in various domains.

For example, if you’re a certified military medic, this can be relevant to healthcare positions. Similarly, a qualification in military communications systems can be applicable to a range of technical and IT roles. The key is to draw parallels between your military certifications and the requirements of civilian jobs.

In addition to certifications, highlight any awards or honors you received during your service. These could include commendations for leadership, bravery, or service excellence.

While the specific military award might not be familiar to all civilian employers, the context of the award can be very telling of your character and abilities. Describe the reason for the award briefly and focus on the skills and attributes it recognizes, such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, or innovation.

What about my non-military awards?

If you’ve received non-military awards or recognitions, whether from previous civilian employment, education, or community service, include these as well. They provide further insight into your capabilities and achievements outside the military context.

The Certifications and Awards section should not be an exhaustive list. But rather a curated selection of recognitions and qualifications that are most relevant to your career aspirations.

By strategically showcasing these achievements, you not only highlight your expertise and dedication but also give potential employers a glimpse of the value and diversity you can bring to their organization. If you are applying for lots of different roles in a number of sectors then pick and choose what are the most relevant for that particular role.

Crafting a Narrative of Professional Growth through work experience

This is often the heart of your resume, offering a window into your professional journey. For veterans who also have civilian work experience, this section can effectively blend your diverse experiences. It will showcase a comprehensive career trajectory. We have stated how important this is a number of times now, there is a reason we have repeated certain things in this article. Its because of how important we see this being.

Start by listing your civilian work experiences in reverse chronological order, as this approach not only highlights your most recent and relevant roles but also creates a narrative of your professional development over time. For each position, start with your job title, followed by the name of the employer. This will immediately give the reader a sense of your role and the context in which you worked.

Dates of employment are crucial as they provide a timeline of your career. Be sure to include the month and year you started and ended each role. This level of detail offers transparency and helps potential employers understand the length and progression of your experiences, and if there are any gaps in employment.

Add your responsibilities and accomplishments

The most impactful aspect of this section will be your bullet points describing responsibilities and accomplishments in each role. This is where you bring your job descriptions to life, and instead of merely listing duties, focus on what you achieved in each position. Use action verbs to start each bullet point, creating a dynamic and engaging narrative.

For each role, think about the key projects you were involved in, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them. Quantify your achievements wherever possible — using numbers, percentages, or other metrics to illustrate the impact of your work. Did you manage a team that delivered a project under budget? These specifics add credibility and give potential employers a clear idea of your capabilities.

If you have a long career history, prioritize the experiences most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Older or less relevant roles can be summarized more briefly as the goal is to provide a thorough yet concise overview of your professional background, emphasizing experiences that align with the job you’re seeking.

Should I include my volunteer work?

If you are transitioning from military to civilian work, this section can also include any transitional roles or experiences. Such as internships or volunteer positions, and if you are reading this for the first time and thinking about leaving the military then we want to once again highlight how important this is.

My Volunteer Experience: Highlighting Commitment to my Community

This section is particularly impactful for demonstrating soft skills and a commitment to community service. These traits are highly valued in any professional setting.

When detailing your volunteer experiences, approach it with the same level of professionalism as your work experience section. Begin by listing each volunteer position in reverse chronological order, just as you would with a job. For each role, include the title of your position, the name of the organization, and the dates of your involvement.

What exactly did you accomplish?

The key to making this section stand out is in how you describe your activities and contributions. Focus on what you accomplished in each role and how it relates to the specific job you’re applying for. Did you lead a team, organize events, or manage projects? These experiences are not only indicative of leadership and organizational skills but also demonstrate your ability to take initiative and collaborate with others.

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Don’t hesitate to quantify your impact in these roles. For instance, if you helped raise a certain amount of funds for a cause or managed a large event, include these details, because numbers and tangible results provide a clearer picture of your involvement and its significance.

Volunteer experience can be particularly valuable for those with limited work experience, such as recent graduates or individuals transitioning careers. It fills gaps in your professional history, showing that you’ve been proactive and engaged in developing skills and contributing to your community.

This section can also highlight a continued commitment to service, if for instance you have joined the reserves. So if you feel your resume may be light due to minimal time served, think about what volunteer work you could do now to bolster this up.

The most important part, references.

The references section is often the cherry on top for a resume that requires strategic consideration. While traditionally many resumes concluded with a list of references, modern practice suggests a more reserved approach.

It’s generally more effective and professional to note that references are available upon request, rather than listing them directly on your resume. This approach serves several purposes.

Firstly, it respects the privacy of your references. By not listing their contact information publicly or in multiple job applications. You protect their details from being overused or misused. It also gives you the opportunity to inform your references ahead of time when a potential employer might contact them. Ensure they are prepared and willing to provide a positive and thoughtful reference.

Secondly, it saves valuable space on your resume for more critical content, as your resume should be a concise showcase of your skills, experiences, and achievements.

Whilst it is important, including references directly can take up valuable space that could be better used to expand upon your qualifications and accomplishments.

Indicating that references are available upon request also adds a level of professionalism to your application. It implies that you have a network of professionals who can vouch for your abilities and character, which you can provide if and when they are needed in the application process.

When the time comes to submit your references, have a separate document prepared with a list of professional contacts who can attest to your skills, work ethic, and experience.

Choose your references carefully

Choose individuals who can provide specific and relevant insights into your professional life, such as former supervisors, colleagues, or mentors. Ensure that each reference is aware of your job search and willing to be contacted, and provide their current contact information, including name, title, company, phone number, and email address.

What’s a key strategy for job Application Success?

The process of tailoring your resume for each job application is a critical step in your job search strategy. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all resume for every job you apply for, customizing your resume for each position can significantly increase your chances of catching the attention of potential employers.

Customizing your resume starts with a thorough analysis of the job description and be sure to pay close attention to the listed requirements and preferred qualifications for the role. What skills, experiences, and attributes is the employer seeking?

Use this information as a guide to highlight the most relevant aspects of your background. Begin by adjusting your Professional Summary or Objective to reflect the specific role you’re applying for. This means emphasizing the parts of your background that align most closely with the job’s requirements.

For example, if the job emphasizes leadership and project management, bring forward your experiences that demonstrate these competencies, whether from your military service, previous civilian roles, or volunteer activities.

Review your resume again and again!

Next, review the work experience and skills sections of your resume. Tailor these to underscore how your past roles and acquired skills directly relate to the job at hand. For example, if the position requires a specific technical skill or software proficiency, and you have this experience, ensure it’s prominently featured and detailed.

It’s also important to consider the language and terminology used in the job description. Where appropriate, mirror this language in your resume. This not only shows that you’re a good fit for the role but also helps your resume pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that many companies use to screen applications.

However, tailoring your resume doesn’t mean exaggerating or misrepresenting your experience, as it’s about presenting your qualifications in the most relevant and compelling way possible. Each version of your resume should be an honest and accurate reflection of your professional journey.

Each job application is an opportunity to tell your story in a way that resonates with the specific employer and position. By taking the time to tailor your resume for each application, you demonstrate not only your qualifications but also your genuine interest in the role and your attention to detail.

Things to remember

Remember, a good resume for a veteran transitioning to a civilian career should effectively communicate the value of your military experience.

Do it in a way that resonates with civilian employers. It’s about translating your skills and experiences into a format and language that are easily understood and valued in the civilian job market. You should always get someone else to proof read it or you can use online tools such as Grammarly to help.

What if I apply and hear nothing back?

If you apply for a job and hear nothing back, it’s a common experience in the civilian job market. It can be especially perplexing for veterans like you who are used to the more straightforward communication lines and processes in the military. Trust me when I say that you will be ghosted, and there are times when you won’t hear anything back.

It is worth noting that sometimes, companies take longer to respond to job applications. Be patient (easier said than done a lot of the time). It could be weeks before you hear back, especially if the organization has a high volume of applicants or a lengthy hiring process. Big corporations sometimes have a huge recruitment HR process so never take it personally, and don’t give up.

Don’t take it easy, check your application status

You can check your application status if the company has an online portal, and if it hasn’t, a phone call to the appropriate hiring manager is never always a positive move. Even better if you can build a good rapport with them, they will will remember your name and even think of you for future opportunities.

Don’t stop your job search while waiting for a response. Continue applying to other positions that interest you. The job search is often a numbers game, and applying to multiple jobs for veterans increases your chances of getting a response.

One good idea is to reach out to your network, including former military colleagues who have transitioned to civilian jobs, for advice and support. Sometimes, they might have insights about the company or the industry, or know someone that might.

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They may even be able to refer you to other opportunities. We refer you back to a previous section on networking so don’t want to cover old ground.

Many organizations that we have featured here provide job search assistance for veterans, including help with resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation. They might also have information about companies that are actively seeking to hire veterans. Look at the previous section where we have listed all these organisations. Help will be there, you just have to proactively hunt it down!

Spy and gather intel on others

If you’re finding it hard to get into a particular field, consider if there are additional skills or certifications that would make you a more attractive candidate.

Sometimes, additional training or education might be necessary to transition into certain civilian roles. A top tip is to go onto LinkedIn and look at those already doing the job. Look at the qualifications that they hold and compare them to yours.

Look at as many profiles as you can, as you may see a pattern or similarities of experience and qualifications, and therefore you can  proactively upskill where required. 

You must understand that not hearing back from employers is a common part of the job search process for everyone, not just veterans. So don’t have unrealistic high expectations that you may get the first job you apply for, it’s not necessarily a reflection of your qualifications or desirability as a candidate.

It can be frustrating at times so stay positive and persistent: Job searching can be challenging and sometimes demoralizing, but persistence and a positive attitude are key. Keep in mind that finding the right job can take time so be patient. 

How do I prepare for an interview?

OK, so your CV has been seen and picked up and companies, and they’re interested in talking to you which means the next step is interviews.

Preparing for an interview, especially when transitioning from the military to a civilian career, involves several stages. Each requiring careful consideration and preparation. Here’s a guide to the stages of preparing for an interview, with specific pointers for you.

Do you research before the interview.

You must understand who the company your being interviewed by are.

What that means is you must have an understanding of its products, services, mission, culture, and the industry it operates in. This knowledge will help you tailor your responses and ask insightful questions. Depending on what level you have applied for will depend on what depth of knowledge you will require at interview stage.

The role’s requirements will be in the job description, so study these thoroughly. Understand what skills and experiences are most important for the role, and translate how your military experience and skills align with the job requirements.

Be ready to explain this clearly, as civilian interviewers may not be familiar with military roles. Let me give you some examples:

Military version: Commanded a platoon of 40 soldiers, responsible for their training, operational planning, and welfare.

Civilian Translation: Managed a diverse team of 40, overseeing training programs, strategic planning, and personnel well-being, ensuring high performance and team development.

Do a self-assessment and reflection

Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to discuss how your military experience has shaped these, using specific examples. Remember everyone has weaknesses and don’t be afraid to share these, show your human side.

An example of a weakness might be, that you found adjusting to the less structured environment of civilian workplaces challenging. You must always follow a statement like that with how you plan on solving this issues. For examples, you could be actively learning to adapt by seeking feedback and observing workplace dynamics. You get the idea, always being positive.

Identify key accomplishments from your military career that demonstrate relevant skills for the job. Practice explaining these in civilian terms.

If you had served for a while then Military jargon may roll of the tongue naturally, and therefore you might not be aware you are using certain words or phrases which a non military person would not understand. Military jargon is like a foreign language to some!

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How can you prepare for interview questions?

Prepare for behavioral interview questions by thinking of specific instances where you demonstrated skills such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability.

The question is often open ended and therefore gives you a perfect chance to highlight key skills that they will be looking for. There are many examples to this but below is just one hypothetical answer to help you understand what might be required.

Interview questions and answer examples:

Question: “Can you tell me about a time when you had to lead a team through a difficult situation? How did you handle it?” 

Answer: “During my military service, I was the team leader of a unit tasked with a reconnaissance mission in a challenging terrain. The situation became complex due to unexpected weather conditions, which jeopardized our operation and safety.”

Leadership

Recognizing the urgency, I quickly convened a team meeting to reassess our strategy. I outlined a revised plan focusing on mission objectives while ensuring the safety of my team.

Problem-Solving

I delegated tasks, assigning team members to scout for safer routes while others secured our equipment. This quick problem-solving was crucial to navigate the unforeseen challenges.

Teamwork

The success of this mission relied heavily on teamwork. I encouraged open communication and collaboration among team members, ensuring everyone’s input was valued and integrated into our approach.

Adaptability

Adapting to these changes swiftly was essential. I led by example, remaining calm and focused, which helped maintain team morale and effectiveness under pressure.

Ultimately, the mission was completed successfully, and the experience reinforced the importance of adaptable leadership and teamwork in overcoming difficult situations. This incident has greatly influenced my approach to leadership, emphasizing flexibility, quick decision-making, and the importance of trusting and empowering team members.”

This answer effectively demonstrates how an individual’s military experience has equipped them with valuable skills applicable in a civilian workplace, particularly in a high-stakes, team-oriented environment. Who wouldn’t be impressed with that answer!

Practice makes perfect

Mock Interviews can be a great way to help conquer what might feel like, an awkward situation. If you can conduct practice interviews with a friend, mentor, or through a veteran service organizations we have already mentioned earlier in this article. This can help you get comfortable with articulating your experience in a civilian context.

It is also important to practice maintaining good body language, like eye contact and posture. In the military, you might be used to a different form of body language, so it’s important to adapt to civilian norms. You may not even be conscious that you are doing it so to give you some context on what is meant by this, you will see a few examples discussed below.

In the military, eye contact can be interpreted differently based on rank and situation. In a civilian context, especially during interviews, maintaining steady but relaxed eye contact is seen as a sign of confidence, engagement, and honesty. It’s important not to stare intensely, which can be perceived as aggressive.  Use eye contact to show that you are actively listening and interested in the conversation.

Body language is very important

Military posture is often very upright, stiff, and formal, reflecting discipline and respect. While good posture is also valued in civilian life, it’s usually less rigid. In a civilian interview or professional setting, it’s beneficial to adopt a posture that is upright yet relaxed. This balance conveys professionalism and confidence without appearing overly stern or unapproachable.

The military often emphasizes stoicism, which can lead to a more neutral or controlled facial expression. In civilian interactions, however, showing a range of appropriate facial expressions can be important in demonstrating empathy, understanding, and engagement. Smiling, for example, is a positive signal in most civilian contexts. You are not opposite your Drill Instructor!

In civilian conversations, nodding or giving verbal affirmations like “I understand” or “That makes sense” is a good way to show that you are actively engaged and following the conversation.

Adapting to these civilian norms of body language can help in making a positive impression, and it demonstrates your ability to transition from a military to a civilian environment and your readiness to integrate into civilian professional culture.

Always have pre-prepared questions

Have some questions written down, as you will often be asked if you have any. If you have some pre thought up prepared questions it will make you look a lot more prepared.

Have a few in case the topics you were going to cover get discussed in the interview, and also do not be afraid to ask the interviewees what they think of the company. This gives them a chance to tell you of their experiences and builds rapport.

What should I wear for an interview?

Research the company’s dress code and plan your outfit to make sure you dress appropriately. In many cases, business professional attire is appropriate (suit and tie). This might be a shift from military uniforms, so ensure you feel comfortable and confident in your outfit. Please don’t turn up in your uniform…

If you are unsure it is better in most cases to overdress rather than underdress, for instance you can take a tie off but its worse if you didn’t wear one, or don’t have one to put on in the first place.

Prepare travel logistics

Plan your travel arrangements and how you’ll get to the interview, allowing extra time for unexpected delays. If it’s a virtual interview, test your technology in advance. Nothing worse than trying to log on and the computer restarts and updates its software.

Always good practice to bring copies of your documents which might include your resume, a list of references, and any other relevant documents like certifications or a portfolio. Better to be well armed and equipped on the day than the other way round.

It’s the day of the interview

It sounds obvious but arrive a few minutes early. Log in early for virtual interviews. Being punctual is the first impression they will have of you, so if for any reason you are running late or can not make the interview, make sure you have a phone number to hand to tell the company.

Take a moment to relax and focus. Remember, the interview is not only about assessing your fit for the role but also your chance to evaluate if the company is right for you.

See our post on “Job interview tips of veterans”, where we talk about this in more detail so check it out here

What should I do after the interview?

Its always good to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. Reiterate your interest in the position, and reflect on a key part of the conversation. You never know, if they are on the fence about hiring you, an well crafted email will definitely help your corner!

After the interview, take some time to reflect on what went well and what could be improved for future interviews.

If you did not get the job, you could always follow on from your email and ask for feedback. Always be polite, just because you did not get the particular role you went for does not mean they won’t potentially call you up in the future with another opportunity f you made a good impression.

Your main takeaway points

As a veterans, the key in an interview is to confidently translate your military experience in a way that resonates with civilian employers, by demonstrating how the skills and values you’ve honed in the service will make you a strong candidate.

I got a job offer, now what?

First of all, congratulations! To get to this point you may have been one of the lucky few who sailed through the hiring process, or one of many who had to grind your way there. Regardless, its a hugely rewarding and exciting experience to get the offer.

By now (hopefully) you’ve received an offer. The first thing you need to do is review the offer carefully, by examining all the details of the job offer, including salary, benefits, work hours, job responsibilities, and any other conditions of employment.

Make sure you understand everything and that it aligns with your expectations and needs. If you are unsure on any details, seek independent help from one of the organizations listed previously.

Should I negotiate my job offer?

You could also consider negotiating because in the civilian world, it’s often expected that you might negotiate an offer. This can include salary, start date, benefits, and other terms of employment. If you feel the offer could be improved, prepare to discuss this with the employer. 

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Remember to be reasonable and professional in your approach though as negotiation is a skill in itself. If your skill set is in high demand, you may get multiple offers in which case this puts you in a very strong negotiation situation. 

Time to accept the job offer.

Once you are satisfied with the offer (and have negotiated if necessary), you can formally accept the job. This is typically done in writing, either via email or a letter.

If you decide the job isn’t the right fit, politely decline the offer, ensuring to maintain a professional tone. A good lesson to learn is ‘never burn bridges’, and by that we mean you may end up applying again to the company in the future and people often remember negative experiences more than positive, so keep that in mind.

If you’re still in the military, you’ll need to plan your transition out of the military. This includes understanding your separation date and completing any required steps for leaving the military. Securing a job before leaving is a great feeling and will ease the pressure substantially.

Remember to update your status by Notifying your current chain of command (if applicable) and update any relevant military career counselors or transition assistance programs about your new job.

I’ve accepted a job, now what?

Grab a notepad (paper or digital) and start to make a plan.

If your new job requires relocating, start planning the move. This can involve finding housing, arranging the transportation of your belongings, and familiarizing yourself with the new area. If you have a family then enrolling into schools for your children will be high on your to do list also. 

Make sure you understand how to enroll in and utilize the benefits offered by your new employer, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and any other perks. When you leave the military your healthcare in particular may change, so make sure you are well advised on this and leave nothing to chance.

The work culture in civilian jobs can be different from the military. Be prepared for these differences in communication style, hierarchy, and daily operations.

If you have completed civilian courses or completed work experience it will be less of a shock for you, but for those that haven’t just mentally prepare yourself. Hopefully by now you have spoken to previous comrades and if not we encourage you do. 

Dont’ forget to give yourself time to adjust and be open to new ways of working. Good luck in your new role and remember, we at Veteransjobhub have your six! 

Don’t forget the paperwork?

Your new employer will likely have paperwork for you to complete, such as tax forms, employment agreements, and benefits enrolment forms. Complete these promptly and accurately to make sure there are no administration hold ups or errors in the process. This will allow a streamlined onboarding process which may include orientation sessions, training programs, and meetings with key team members.

It is a good idea to update your professional documents, like your LinkedIn profile for example along with any other professional documentation to reflect your new position.

We are not affiliated with LinkedIn but we do recognize the power of having a network and it will allow you to keep in touch with your military network and any contacts you made during your job search. Networking is a continuous process and can be valuable for future opportunities or professional support.

What else do I need to consider when I leave the Military?

This website is primarily here to help you and many other veterans get a job, by not only giving you plenty of resources and help, but by giving you access to real time opportunities.

As we have touched on earlier in this article, finding employment is not just the only thing to consider when you leave the military. The following information may only apply to certain individuals. But we felt it was important to touch on so it is not forgotten about.

Transitioning out of the military means you’ll need to make decisions about healthcare and insurance. Explore options through the VA, and employer-provided healthcare, or plans available in the marketplace.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Your financial situation may change significantly after leaving the military. So develop a new budget that accounts for potential changes in income, housing costs, healthcare, and other expenses.

Consider consulting a financial advisor for guidance if you are unsure. It may be daunting, especially if you have spent along time in the military and are in military housing.

To suddenly have to relocate and rent or purchase a property, will potentially be a big change in monthly outgoings. Factors such as location, the cost of living in different areas, and the needs of your family if applicable, all need to be taken into consideration. 

Emotional and Psychological Adjustment

The transition from military to civilian life can be challenging not just practically, but also emotionally and psychologically. Be prepared for this adjustment period and consider seeking support groups or counseling services if needed. the resources we have mentioned earlier will have help. But know the veteran community is out there and you will never be shot of help. NEVER be afraid to ask for it! 

Look after yourself!

Building a new social group outside the military can be important for your emotional well-being. Look into community groups, veteran organizations, or other local activities where you can meet people, but it is vital that you stay connected with your military colleagues and networks. They can be a source of support and valuable networking connections.

Try and remember to update your legal and official documents to reflect your change in status. This includes updating your address, changing your status with the IRS, and ensuring all your personal identification documents are current. 

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Simple things like telling your bank your new address can slip through the net when you have so much to consider and think about.

There is a lot to consider and if you are reading this with only weeks to go before you leave the military, don’t worry! Many have left without a consideration to the multiple things we mention in this article so don’t panic.

Prioritise the list and work through it that way. We are sure you have been under similar stresses whilst serving so once organised, you will be absolutely fine and ready for your new adventure.

What if I regret leaving the Military?

That feeling of regret after leaving the military is not uncommon, and it’s a valid emotion to experience during such a significant life transition.

It’s not unusual to feel a sense of loss after leaving the structured and familiar environment of the military. Acknowledging these feelings as a normal part of the adjustment process is the first step towards navigating this new phase of life.

Opening up about your feelings with family, friends, or fellow veterans who can empathize with your experience is crucial. Sharing your thoughts can provide relief and perspective.

If these feelings become overwhelming or persistent, professional counseling may be necessary. Remember, transitions take time, and the initial challenges of adjusting to civilian life often ease as you settle into a new routine.

As a veteran I feel lonely, what should I do?

Connecting with other veterans through veteran organizations can offer comfort and understanding. These groups provide a sense of camaraderie reminiscent of the military environment and can be a source of support and guidance. I

t’s also helpful to evaluate what you miss about the military and what aspects of civilian life might be contributing to your dissatisfaction. Is it the job, the lack of structure, or the social environment? Identifying these factors can guide you in making effective changes or adaptations.

Setting new goals and challenges for yourself can instill a sense of purpose and direction. This could involve advancing in your career, pursuing education, or developing new skills.

Establishing a daily routine can also bring a sense of order and familiarity akin to the military lifestyle. Routines and structure are important to keep when you leave, that could include physical activity, which plays a crucial role in maintaining mental and physical well-being. Regular exercise can help manage stress, improve mood, and maintain the fitness levels you were accustomed to in the military.

Should I consider re-enlisting?

For those who find their current job unsatisfactory, exploring further professional development or considering a career change could lead to greater fulfilment.

Sometimes the first post-military job isn’t the right fit, and exploring other opportunities might reveal a path that resonates more with your interests and skills. If the feelings of regret are strong and persistent, re-enlisting may be an option worth considering. This decision should be made after careful consideration and discussions with military recruiters and your support network.

Easier said than done sometimes, however you must focus on the positive aspects of civilian life and the reasons you chose to leave the military. This could include more time with family, freedom to live where you choose, or new career opportunities.

But If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, seek professional help. Many resources are available here specifically for veterans so don’t feel alone. If you’re in the UK, support is available here. Don’t forget to talk to your friends and family and medial professionals you are struggling.

What does it mean to be a veteran?

As a veteran, you have served in the  Armed Forces, contributing to the defense and security of the nation. This service often involves significant personal sacrifices, including time away from family, physical and mental challenges, and for many, risking one’s life in combat.

You are one of the most respected members of society, recognized for your courage, dedication, and commitment, and once you have served in the military, you will always be identified as a veteran. This becomes a core part of your identity and influences how others perceive you and, often, how you view yourself.

The Band of Brothers (and sisters) is strong

As a veteran we share a unique bond and a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood with fellow service members. We have spoke about this many times, the community offers mutual support, understanding, and camaraderie.

This can last a lifetime. Many veterans serve as advocates and role models in their communities, using their experiences and leadership skills to contribute positively and guide others. Whether in veteran-specific organizations, community groups, first responders, or mentoring roles.

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The ethos of service doesn’t end with military discharge. Often you can continue to serve your communities and country in various ways, whether through volunteer work, public service, or by offering support to other veterans.

Be proud on Veterans Day

We are recognized on Veterans Day and at various events and ceremonies throughout the year. Acknowledging their service and the sacrifices you and your families have made.

Make sure you stay involved, even if its a small local one as you may inspire future generations to join up in the future.

The experiences gained during military service, including the ability to overcome challenges and adapt to changing circumstances are lifelong assets. These shape your character and approach to life.

Being a veteran is not just about what one has done in the past, it’s a lifelong role that carries with it respect, a sense of community, and an enduring commitment to the values and principles that guided their service. It’s a title that is earned and held with a deep sense of pride and responsibility.